State parks around New England are so numerous and varied, you can find several that fit every recreational option possible, from ocean to inland, challenging mountain hikes to leisurely strolls in the sand. It all works in this season of high sun and long days.
Starting about 10 minutes from the Milton, Mass., offices of Seamans Media (as the crow flies) is Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area, stretching like a verdant necklace from nearby Spectacle Islands to Brewster Island (Great and Little) about 10 miles from downtown Boston.
At one time, Boston Harbor was so badly polluted with waste and industrial effluents that few would ever link the word harbor with recreation. But over the years since George H.W. Bush was scolding Mike Dukakis over Boston’s pollution in the 1988 presidential election, the fortunes of Boston Harbor and other waterways such as the Charles River have made quite an amazing turnaround.
Now ferry boats leave regularly from Boston’s Rowes and Long Wharf to several of the islands offshore. Spectacle Island is one of the most developed, with hiking trails leading up to a promontory of a few hundred feet that looks back a mile or so to the city’s commanding skyline.